Finally some good news on the pipeline beat. Phys.org reports that Canadian energy infrastructure company TransCanada recently decided to suspend construction of a major pipeline terminal on the St. Lawrence River in Eastern Canada after Canadian authorities deemed a nearby population of beluga whales “endangered.” The belugas live near Cacouna, Quebec, the planned location of the terminal, and were given the status of “threatened” when the last formal study of their population was done 10 years ago.
The recent study done by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada put their population at less than 1,000 whales, down from more than 10,000 in 2004. According to the report, the findings mean the whales are now at “considerably greater risk of extinction” than they were previously – largely due to pollution, noise disturbance and industrial development.
TransCanada was planning to have their terminal in Cacouna up and running by 2018, along with the rest of the planned Energy East pipeline project that will bring oil from Canada’s West Coast to the East Coast for shipping. But the company decided to stop the terminal construction as a result of the beluga’s precarious new status. According to Phys.org, the company says the delay will give it time to analyze the beluga recommendation and look at future options.